Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Republicans Want to Cut Social Security

GOP House Candidate, Proposes Budget That Would Cut Social Security Benefits
A Republican House candidate in Florida wants senior citizens to share the burden of reducing the national budget deficit through cuts to Social Security benefits..

Webster is a former Florida Senate majority leader and a tea party candidate in the Aug. 24 primary. Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) in 2008 and 2009, of 2.3 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, amounted to roughly $100 per retiree every month.

"For Webster to propose cuts of $100 per person to a program that has served seniors well for so long is an indication that, if he's elected, seniors will be the first ones to suffer," said Tony Fransetta, president of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, in a statement..

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the House GOP's point man on the budget, introduced legislation that would cut and partially privatize Social Security and would "modernize" the retirement age, but his proposal has won only 13 cosponsors.


Vicente Duque said...

The average Florida Hispanic student score on NAEP reading tests (conducted in English mind you) is now higher than or ties the overall average scores of all students in 31 different states — including predominantly Anglo states such as Iowa, Minnesota and Washington

Jeff Bush a Hero ?? - Perhaps Yes !

Alburquerque Journal
Success for New Mexico Minority Students Lies With Adults

By Matthew Ladner, Rio Grande Foundation
Matthew Ladner is an adjunct fellow with New Mexico's Rio Grande Foundation


Some excerpts :

Today, more than 820 Florida private schools educate almost 19,000 children with disabilities through the McKay program. A similar number of low-income children are benefiting from Step Up for Students. Florida also has a vigorous and growing charter school program, with more than 375 charter schools educating more than 100,000 students.

So what does Florida have to show for this tough mixture of high-stakes testing and parental choice? The best source of data to answer this question comes from the National Assessment of Education Progress. The NAEP tests representative samples of students in every state on a variety of subjects and is the nation's most reliable and respected source of K-12 testing data.

Researchers focus heavily on fourth-grade reading scores as a bellwether for future academic performance. Children who do not learn to read in the early grades almost never recover academically.

In 1998, a stunning 47 percent of Florida fourth-graders scored "below basic" on the NAEP reading test, meaning they were functionally illiterate. By 2009, 73 percent of Florida's fourth-graders scored basic or above — a remarkable improvement in a short period.

Best of all, improvements among Hispanic and African-American students helped to drive the overall results. Florida's Hispanic students now have the second-highest reading scores in the nation; and African-Americans score fourth highest when compared to their peers. Both groups have a great deal of momentum on their side.

The average Florida Hispanic student score on NAEP reading tests (conducted in English mind you) is now higher than or ties the overall average scores of all students in 31 different states — including predominantly Anglo states such as Iowa, Minnesota and Washington. Florida's African Americans outscored or tied eight statewide averages for all students.

Vicente Duque said...


Florida's reforms have been so successful that the Miami-Dade County Public School District, 91 percent of whose students are either Hispanic or African American, outscores the statewide reading average for Oregon — a highly Anglo and relatively wealthy state. What worked in Miami can work in Albuquerque.

Demography need not become destiny in New Mexico or anywhere else. Education improvement is not about the kids. The kids, even the poor and minority kids can learn. The roadblocks to improvement are with us adults, not with the kids. If New Mexicans decide that they want something better for their children, they can achieve it. If they reject the fate of becoming an educational and economic backwater, others already have departed from this path.

Fortune favors the bold, and New Mexicans can secure a brighter future if their adults have the wisdom and courage to embrace it.

From Wikipedia about Jeb Bush and Education in Florida :

Bush's administration was marked by a focus on public education reform. His "A+ Plan" mandated standardized testing in Florida's public schools, eliminated social promotion and established a system of funding public schools based on a statewide grading system using the FCAT test. Bush has been a proponent of school vouchers and charter schools, especially in areas of the state with failing public schools, although to date very few schools have received failing grades from the state. One program that has seen fruition is the Florida Virtual School, a distance-learning program that allows students in rural areas of the state to take Advanced Placement classes for college credit.

Youth, Minorities, Demography and Politics :


Vicente Duque

ultima said...

No one likes the idea of cutting benefits but if you are interested maintaining the solvency of the system, let's see your suggestions since you are so quick to criticize the suggestions of others.

ultima said...

As I have stated on a number of occasions, my preference is to remove the cap on taxable income so Warren Buffet pays the same percentage of his earnings as you do. I think earnings may have to be redefined to include stock option profits, stock bonuses, and maybe even capital gains and dividend income for those actively working and engaged in businesses where these items are their primary source of income from their activities as opposed to being on a payroll. Many executives are paid with stock options in addition to a salary. The value of those stock options at the time of issue should be considered a part of the executive's salary and taxed accordingly. How's that for a Republican proposal?

ultima said...

To put this into perspective see
this CNN article

Dee said...

I agree we should remove the cap on taxable income. Your Republicans do not agree.

I also agree that Buffet, Gates and other Elites should not receive social security or medicare. We should put a cap on it. People who have xxx wealth should not receive social security or medicare programs. If we capped it at $250K annual earnings, we could save Billions.

ultima said...

Yes, along with removing the cap we have to freeze the maximum benefit at the present level as adjusted annually for inflation. That would mean even if Gates, et.al. received SS, it would not be commensurate with their contributions.

I realize that tax increases have always been anathema to the GOP but I would rather see the first tax increase to be the one needed to shore up ss rather than whatever the income tax increase would be used for. We may need both tax increases phased in over some period of time. This is a tough nut to crack because of the recession and the conventional wisdom that says you don't raise taxes when the country is in a recession.

The Arizonian said...

Math time:

I pay 6.2% of my income to social security. If I'm lucky, when I retire I might get $2,000 a month from Social Security.


If someone making minimum wage ($7.25) works 40hrs. a week, 50 weeks a year, until they're 70 puts 3% of their income ($34 a month) into a modest mutual fund or IRA (my suggestion) they would retire at 70 with $1.4 million dollars, or a pay out over 10 years of $11,666 a MONTH, far better than Social Security.

Of course that is if the person never gets a raise, new job etc., which would only increase the amount.

The Fed can't manage money at all, and you want me to entrust my retirement to them? Pass......

ultima said...

AZ: I'm not quarreling with those who think SS is a bad deal. I am merely suggesting what should be done if people want to save SS for whatever it is worth. I am interested in your example: How long did this person pay into the mutual fund? I know you assumed they would pay until age 70 but at what age did you assume they started? What rate of return did you assume for the mutual fund? etc. That is what are all of your assumptions?

ultima said...

Let me try that again, I was distracted by my wife. At $34 per month for 50 years or 600 months you would have to have a monthly rate of return of 1.01% to achieve $1.4 million, assuming you could pay the taxes on any taxable earnings from a separate source. Also you would have to adjust the rate of return for inflation or assume the $34/month contribution would increase at the rate of inflation. However, if you assume a more realistic rate of return of say 6% per year or 0.5 % per month, the $34 dollars would only produce $128,764. This would provide a monthly income of $1,429.54 before inflation. Since you would no longer be getting pay raises, it seems to me you would have to adjust your rate of return for inflation to see what your constant peurchasing power income would be. ((.06/12)+1)/((.0312/12)+1)-1 = 0.239%/month net of inflation. At that rate the $128,764 would produce a constant purchasing power monthly stipend of $1,235.52.

ultima said...

AZ it might make a difference if you could capture both your and your employers's contributions for investment elsewhere. An IRA, if you are eligible is always good because its earnings are tax sheltered until you withdraw them or use they in your retirement years. Still a guaranteed income for life adjusted annually for inflation is not somethng to be given up easily because as many who have 401k have found out the bottom of the stock market can fall out anytime and you always have the problem of whether funds invested in an IRA or 401k will actually last for your lifetime. You can never outlive social security if the system is properly funded. One can figure out how much you can draw down from a 401k or IRA each year but you have to specify how long you expect to live, what rate of return you expect to earn on your 401k in retirement, and, if you want to have constant purchasing power during those years, what rate of inflation you want to assume. A 20 year moving average usually is sufficient for that purpose.

Unfortunately, many Americans have no idea how much money they will need in retirement and some are invading their 401k plans now and paying a steep penalty because it is either that or get foreclosed.

ultima said...

I agree the feds do not have a good track record on fiscal responsibility. If they had, they would have provided a mechanism from the beginning to keep the unfunded obligations of SS under control. Instead they added new benefits knowing full well the old ones were underfunded. It's mostly politics. No one has wanted to tough SS with a ten foot pole because it arouses the hackles of just about everyone. I'm just saying if they are planning to tax the super rich more, why not begin with a tax on all of their incomes rather than just part of them while recognizing that few of them are on an actual payroll or get most of their income from other sources. At least that would begin to solve one problem SS while if the increase is just in the income tax, who know where the money will go. Anything in excess of the ss tax increase should be earmarked for deficit reduction not more spending.

The Arizonian said...

I had a decimal point in the wrong place.....

I did it real quick like.

Honestly, I forgot how I calculated it. I suspect I was calculating the SS rate (6.25% or so)? In either case I tust me handling my retirement and leave SS to being an insurance, not the primary.

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